Arizona Education Association

Spring 2023

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IN SOLIDARITY by Marisol Garcia AEA OFFICERS Marisol Garcia President Angela Philpot Vice President Amber Gould Treasurer AEA STAFF Randy Parraz Executive Director Emily Kirkland Editor Roxanne Rash Graphic Design Advertising e AEA Advocate is published by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532. Phone: 602- 264-1774 or 800-352-5411 Fax: 602-240-6887. Email: AEA's website may be found at Permission to reprint any material originating with this publication is granted provided that credit is given to the AEA Advocate. e AEA Advocate (ISSN 0194-8849) is published in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer for $3.50 per year by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Periodicals postage paid at Phoenix, Arizona. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the AEA Advocate, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Moving? Please let us know before you go. Simply clip your mailing label from the back of the Advocate and send it along with your new address to: AEA Advocate 345 East Palm Lane Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532 4 ADVOCATE | SPRING 2023 Marisol Garcia, President Arizona Education Association Dear all, Last summer, the AEA Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution establishing the President's Organizing Council. Together, we laid out a bold and unprecedented commitment to growing our union—including the goal of reaching 40,000 members by 2026 by adding at least 5,587 new members a year. Since then, local leaders across the state have been engaged in the diffi cult and rewarding work of making this vision a reality. And that work is already paying off . In January, we hit an important milestone, offi cially reaching 20,000 members for the fi rst time in years. We know that the status quo is not working. e state's educator retention crisis is continuing to deepen, and there are 2,890 teacher vacancies currently unfi lled across the state, along with thousands of vacancies for education support professionals. Although we fi nally have a champion in Governor Katie Hobbs, her support will not be enough on its own. To get the resources we need, and the respect we deserve, we will have to fi ght for it. Growing our union at the state, local and site level is the only way to build the power we need to win real change. And hitting the 20,000 member milestone is a sign that we are on the right track. I believe in our movement and in our unbreakable solidarity with one another. Let's keep it up!

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